In the summer of the 'Friendly Games' in Scotland, Roy writes about the past role of friendlies and club trials when Monmouthshire, later Gwent, was awash with first class clubs. Read all about in REL's latest. 

Steelmen announce Macron Partnership
Ebbw Vale Director and Chairman Jon Jones has announced that the return to the Premiership will herald the start of a new Kit partnership with leading brand Macron.  The Italian company who have made significant in roads in the rugby world with their innovative designs and partnership agreements have a Brynmawr  based Brand Centre owned by Ebbw Vale born Shane Heath,  and this fits with the club ethos of keeping business in our local community where possible.

To mark our return to the premiership, the club has returned to a kit based on the famous 1970's kit, whilst keeping the school colours of Ebbw Fawr learning Community for the away kit. As a club we felt that this pays respect to our history and to the future of the club. Most importantly we think the team and supporters will love it! Delivery of replica shirts is expected by the end of the August, please keep checking website for order details.

Macron Ebbw Vale is very pleased to announce the core sponsorship deal with Ebbw Vale Rugby Football Club for season 2014/15 and beyond.

Shane Heath, Sports Director for Macron Ebbw Vale, said  "This is a very exciting time for Ebbw Vale Rugby Club on and off the field and we are extremely proud to be chosen as the kit and leisurewear supplier for Ebbw Vale. We would like to wish the board, management and the team continued success and remember: work hard and play harder!"

And if you're wondering what it looks like… click here!

2014-15 fixtures
The Premiership fixtures have been published, and the first round on September 13th sees Ebbw entertaining Llandovery before visiting Neath on the 20th, followed by the first Gwent derby when Newport visit Eugene Cross Park. Ebbw's full fixtures list can be viewed here.

Jason Strange said, "We understand the standard is going to be higher in the Premiership but we're ready for that challenge. We are pleased with the way players have come back after the break. Their fitness testing was the best in the five years I've been here, with a few personal bests too. Our approach to the season is to concentrate on being the best we can and improving within ourselves. It's great to have a home game to kick things off. We lost to Llandovery by a point in the cup last year so that will be in the back of our mind and I'm sure the supporters will look forward to that game. Then we have Neath away before welcoming Newport to Eugene Cross Park and with the great tradition of Gwent derbies, I'm sure that we will get a big crowd for that one too.”

So, there's no excuse for not buying a season ticket! Click here for further information.

* The team that succeeds in the Dragons region BIC Qualifiers will be in Pool 4 for the competition proper, which means home and away fixtures with the Cornish Pirates, Doncaster Knights and Bedford Blues.

Open Day - August 9th
A message from Jason Strange: "This year's Open Day will commence at 10am at Cae Canol (training field) on Saturday 9th August. The format will be different to previous years so as not to impact on a wedding in the clubhouse. In that respect any supporters who are driving are asked not to use clubhouse parking. We're hoping RTB minis will be training at the same time to showcase their great club structure and opportunities for younger players. Come along and see how the squad is shaping up for out Premiership return. Further details to follow.

RTB Minis training
RTB under 7, 8 and 9s have started training on Tuesday nights from  6:15pm at Hilltop field. New players are  welcome irrespective of ability. Come along and enjoy, develop and learn rugby 

Fosters National Sevens
Ebbw Vale  have been drawn against Cardiff Met in the first round of the Fosters National Sevens to be held at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park  on Sunday 24 August. 

Tickets are on sale now at just £10 for adults, £5 for Under 16s and £20 for a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children). To purchase tickets now, go to www.wru.co.uk/fosterssevens, call 0333 321 9989 (Ticketmaster) or 02920 230130 (Ticketline). Tickets are also available to personal callers from the WRU shop, 8 Westgate Street, from Ticketline, 47 Westgate Street. 

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